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5 Healthy Spices That Make You Poop

Food can be… confusing. Should we avoid gluten at all costs? Gobble up lawyers as fast as humanly possible? The nutrition experts at Well+Good set the story straight when it comes to diet, cutting through the hype and hand twists and giving you the most comprehensive information on what you should (and maybe shouldn't). not) put in your body. See everything

My friend with IBS and I have a running joke. Whenever one of us (no telling who) indulges in a quirky spice-filled feast, we send the other the movie poster for fiction South Park universe movie Terrence and Phillip: Asses of fire.

I was thinking about this joke when I went to Butt-Con the other month and reached out to functional medicine doctor Mark Hyman, MD, to ask about the perceived link between spicy food and my digestive issues. Because honestly, I'm sick of literally getting burned by my love of food with a kick.

However, I've learned that while spicy foods can cause problems for people with IBS (like my friend), in general, they're pretty good for digestive health. "Spices can really be good for your gut because they help protect your gut flora," says Dr. Hyman. "They help fertilize the good bugs; they kill the bad bugs."

"I like spicy food for the taste, but I also like its effects on the gastrointestinal tract," agrees gastroentologist Niket Sonpal, MD. "One of the biggest misconceptions about spicy foods is that they cause reflux or ulcers. Just because they burn a little on the way in doesn't mean they cause more burning."

Not only that, but I've learned that certain spices go the extra mile when it comes to better gut health and, uh, healthy, sensible BMs. Read on to find out which spices will make you poop (in a good way).

It's the spices that make poo

1. Cayenne pepper

Dr. Sonpal recommends cayenne pepper for his patients who have a lot of indigestion. "Cayenne stimulates the taste buds, which in turn stimulate saliva production," says Dr. Sonpal. "Then, moving down the digestive tract, cayenne pepper stimulates three other things: hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach, pancreatic enzymes from the pancreas in the small intestine, and bile secretion from the liver and gallbladder. All three chemicals aid digestion and help patients feel less bloated after meals." He suggests slipping it into lemonade for an extra kick and gut-boosting benefits.

2. Ginger

"Ginger is great for your overall health as it helps boost your immunity, but it's especially good for gut health as it can promote motility in your digestive tract, helping you go to the bathroom easier to fight off constipation and bloating," says Brigitte Zeitlin. , RD, owner of BZ Nutrition in New York. "It also works to relieve intestinal irritation." Zeitlin says you can drink ginger as a tea, add it to your smoothies, or copy his tip and ask for double ginger alongside your sushi.

Learn more about the top health benefits of ginger:


3. Cumin seeds

"Cumin can aid in the production of bile, which is what your body needs to break down fats so your body can digest and absorb them," says Zeitlin. "When your body struggles to break down fat, you may feel sluggish and bloated." Read: Constipated AF. Cumin is often found in curries and taco seasonings; if looking to test a combination of spicy and sweet honey, cumin honey is now something you can try.

4. Fennel seeds

“Fennel seeds have been linked to promoting a healthy gut by fighting bad bacteria that can build up in the gut and cause indigestion and discomfort,” says Zeitlin, promoting BM healthier. She suggests sprinkling it on your stir-fries and soups.

5. Turmeric

Honey, you know all about turmeric! "For me personally, it's something I take on a daily basis — in the kitchen as well as as a supplement," says Dr. Sonpal. “In addition to being praised for its natural anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is a natural laxative. [small] A study in Japan found that volunteers who ate foods containing turmeric had faster bowel transit time, which meant less constipation. So know that your golden milk latte is doctor-approved in more ways than one.

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